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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Rudy Tomjanovich Named Inductee for Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2020

Posted: April 4, 2020 -- 11:41 a.m. CT

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today announced that former Rockets player and coach Rudy Tomjanovich is one of nine honorees from the Class of 2020 who will be enshrined in Springfield, Massachusetts on Saturday, August 29.

"Congratulations to Rudy T on his well-deserved and long overdue selection to the Hall of Fame," said Rockets owner Tilman J. Fertitta. "As a longtime Rockets fan, I admired Rudy's tenacity as a player and loved watching his attention to detail in coaching the back-to-back championship teams in the 90's. Heart of a champion! This is an exciting day not only for Rudy and his family, but for Rockets fans everywhere."

Tomjanovich was the second overall pick by the San Diego Rockets in the 1970 NBA Draft. The five-time All-Star spent all 11 of his seasons with the Rockets, averaging 17.4 points and 8.1 rebounds while shooting 50.1% from the floor. Tomjanovich ranks fourth in franchise history in both scoring (13,383) and rebounding (6,198). His number, 45, was retired on January 28, 1982.

Following his final season as a player in 1980-81, Tomjanovich became a scout for the Rockets. He joined Bill Fitch's staff as an assistant coach in 1983-84 and was named interim head coach on February 18, 1992. The Rockets won 55 games during Tomjanovich's first full season as head coach in 1992-93.

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In his second full season at the helm in 1993-94, Tomjanovich led the Rockets to 58 wins and their first championship. Houston became the first team in league history to have hit 400 3-pointers in a single season.

The Rockets also won the title the following season despite being the sixth seed. The Rockets still hold the honor of being the lowest seeded team to have won the championship.

Tomjanovich retired as head coach of the Rockets following the 2002-03 season and is the franchise leader in wins with 503. Houston went .500 or better in nine of his 11 full seasons as coach. All totaled, Tomjanovich spent 33 consecutive seasons with the Rockets.

In addition to remaining the University of Michigan's all-time leader in rebounds (1,039), Tomjanovich coached USA Basketball Men's National Team to a gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics.

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